Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

January 21, 2005

you're going to be fine

So what a week it's been at the Baker household. We hired a doula for the upcoming labor and Billy has decided to change jobs. The two are swimming around each other in my head because they seem so connected.

First the job FAQ's: the new job is also here in town, and it's actually in walking distance, or at least biking distance because it's on campus. It's with NCSA which stands for something about National Supercomputing Applications (I'm sure I'll learn the accurate title soon, but you get the picture). It's a two year position that could lead to a more permanent thing if it goes well. It's in a field that Billy wants to get into that's 'cutting edge' scientifically in computers called 'grid computing' or something close to that. Beyond that, you'll have to ask Billy what he'll be doing. He'll have three more weeks vacation than at his current (or I should say past) job and it will be more stable than working for a start up. Health insurance will be the same, thank you God.

Making this decision has been very painful for dear Billy because it's so hard to decide between two seemingly similarly good jobs. It took until the night before his decision due date for his water to break and as he went into active labor with it Monday night, I got to be his doula and try to help him get through all the pain to the birth of a decision. I asked him every question I could think of to tease out the differences between the two jobs in the past, present, and future and just to be there for him, reflecting his power and true self to him. The reality started to emerge around 2:30 AM that NCSA was the decision that was right for him and for us. There's something about consultation that just smacks of labor and birth sometimes. The result can be amazing, not what you thought, and hopefully right, but, if nothing else, when the result is unity of thought, there is something almost sacred about it that you have to really pay attention to and that you can confidently act on.

So the doula interview (I was being interviewed as much as or more than the doula was) went really well and it was really great to get to talk to an experienced labor person about my experiences to try to get some perspective on them and learn from them to help with Theresa's birth. (She's doing fine, by the way, measuring well, heartbeat is good, she's about four and a half pounds now and eighteen inches long. She's in just the right position, both for coming out well and for kicking me in the ribs. That's fine, I can take that much better than back labor.) The doula I was talking to used to be a therapist, as in counselor, so I really got a lot of mileage out of our conversation. The doula program at Carle is the kind where you get whoever is on call, so I don't know if it will be her, but I'm pretty sure that it will be a positive experience, no matter who I get. I've met them all, and they all seem very supportive, though some seem more experienced than others.

Both of these experiences made snatches of this old Ani DiFranco song pop into my head tonight, and it's been years since I actually heard it, but I'll try to recreate the parts of it that seem relevant:

We can't sit back and let people come to harm
we owe them our lives.
Each breath is recycled from someone else's lungs
our enemies are the very air and the sky.

And I am looking, looking for the holes
the holes in your jeans,
because I want to know
are they worn out in the seat or are they
worn out in the knees.

(something something)...they told me you were stashed
last time I asked
and she said I've been out now for all of three hours
I just resurfaced and
here you are...
A strong wind could blow you down I heard myself say.

Skeletons are fine,
your closet or mine
we took turns recounting the details of lost time
and when we had both admitted it all
we threw our heads back and we
laughed until we cried.

And I was aware that with every word,
spoken and shared I could see her shaking subside.
And I said, sister, looks to me
like you're going to be fine.

-Ani DiFranco (sorry if I got any words wrong, Ani)

Posted by Bahiyyih at January 21, 2005 03:09 AM

I was listening to Ani just as I was reading this!

Posted by: Suzanne at January 21, 2005 06:19 PM

What an uplifting message! I think that's two Ani songs, and the only reason I know them at all is because you put them on a mix for me, thank you Bahiyyih! That was so fun to think about consultation as the birthing process. Things sure are exciting at your house! Love

Posted by: Layli at January 22, 2005 06:36 PM